By Luci Manning
Youth Facility Open for Play (The Daily Times, New Mexico)
A new youth facility with a full-size basketball court, a playground, office, storage space and bathrooms opened in Kirtland earlier this year after being in development for seven years! The Kirtland Youth Facility now houses The Kirtland Youth Association’s afterschool programs and other youth activities. The group will host a grand opening ceremony on Saturday. Charles Kromer, the executive director of the Kirtland Youth Association, told The Daily Times that the association hopes to make the facility a “full service community center.”
Brother’s Love Strikes a Chord (The Boston Globe, Massachusetts)
Afterschool students at the Plugged In program in Needham are rocking out for a good cause. The students, ages 8 to 18, learn how to play rock music and then showcase their talents at a concert at the end of each term. For each concert, the afterschool students vote on a charity to support. This year, 12-year-old electric guitarist Nelson Barnett eloquently spoke about his younger brother Roland, who was born with a rare genetic condition called chromosome 15q duplication syndrome or Dup15q for short, and convinced the group to support the Dup15q Alliance as this year’s beneficiary for the winter “Believe” concert. Nelson and Roland’s mother Nancy told The Boston Globe that the students have already exceeded their $3,000 fundraising goal.
Zumbathon Raises Money for West Bank Boys & Girls Club (Times-Picayune, Louisiana)
In Gretna, grownups and youth participated in a Zumbathon at the Westbank Boys & Girls Club to raise money for the Club’s afterschool program. Local elementary teacher and Zumba instructor Miriam Rosa organized the fundraiser because she said she saw how important the afterschool programs at the Boys & Girls Club were to her students last year.
Bike Education Programs Strive to Ratchet Up Teens’ Interests (Chicago Tribune, Illinois)
Students from Chicago’s West Town Bikes, near Humboldt Park, traveled to New York City last weekend to participate in the second annual youth bike summit and give a presentation on its Girls Bike Club. Proponents of bike education programs told the Chicago Tribune that the increase in bike education has paralleled the growth in charter schools and project-based learning and that the hands-on, visual style of learning reaches students who are not engaged by conventional methods. West Town Bikes runs 14 afterschool programs that provide young people with mechanical skills, work readiness, physical fitness, environmental awareness and personal pride.